Shipping & Logistics

Firm stopped from reclaiming land in the Indian Ocean

Makupa Transit Shade Ltd has reclaimed nine acres of land and estimates the cost of the project at over Sh500 million. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Makupa Transit Shade Ltd has reclaimed nine acres of land and estimates the cost of the project at over Sh500 million. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Court of Appeal has issued an order restraining a company operating a container freight station from continuing with reclamation of land in the Indian Ocean at Makupa Creek and consequent construction.

The court also issued an injunction restraining Makupa Transit Shade Ltd from using the land being reclaimed from the Indian Ocean at the creek for commercial, private purposes or involving third parties.

Appellate Judges Alnashir Visram, Wanjiru Karanja and Martha Koome issued the order pending the lodging, hearing and determination of an intended appeal against a ruling by the Environment and Land Court (ELC), Mombasa in July.

Mombasa County director of planning and architecture went to the Appellate court after its application at the ELC seeking to set aside orders for the proposed land reclamation and construction of yard was dismissed.

The logistics firm has reclaimed nine acres of land and estimates the cost of the project at over Sh500 million.

In their ruling, the judges noted that the county director was not “obliged to establish a multiplicity of arguable grounds”.

“We are alive to the fact that there is an option of the court ordering restoration of the reclaimed land to its original state in the event the appeal succeeds,” said the judges.

However, they noted that the costs of restoration will be huge taking into account that the respondent had claimed the cost of the project was an estimated Sh500 million.

“Equally we are unsure of whether the suit property would be capable of being restored to its original ecological state,” added the judges in the ruling.

Through his lawyer, the county director had argued that his intended appeal would be rendered nugatory if Makupa Transit Shades Ltd was allowed to continue with the project.